Britain withdraws threat to raid Ecuador’s embassy

UNITED KINGDOM, London : Metropolitan police officers stand outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (AFP Photo / Will Oliver)

Ecuador says Britain has withdrawn a threat to raid its embassy to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – easing tensions between the two nations in their ongoing diplomatic standoff.

The Ecuadorian government revealed that it received”a communication from the British Foreign Office which said that there was no threat to enter the embassy.”

We consider this unfortunate incident over, after a grave diplomatic error by the British in which they said they would enter our embassy,” Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said in a weekly media address.

Ecuador granted Assange political asylum but the UK says it will arrest him if he leaves the embassy to deport him to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual assault allegations.

The case strained relations between London and Quito, which was infuriated after British authorities warned they could enter the Ecuadorian embassy to seize Assange.

The announcement comes a day after all the members of the Organization of American States, except for the US and Canada, stated their support of Ecuador in relation to Assange’s saga.

Senior officials from the 35-state bloc adopted a resolution of solidarity with Ecuador. They reaffirmed their “respect of sovereignty” and denounced “the use of forces in solving conflicts.”

All members approved the full text of the document except for Canada and the United States, which refused to express “solidarity” with Quito.

Earlier, the Ecuadorian president said in an exclusive interview with RT that “Once we granted asylum to Assange, he is under the protection of Ecuador, and we will do everything to make sure this protection is effective.”

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